Running the Red Line

Research, words, and photos by Seattle runner, Julia Reade.

In September of 2016 and December of 2017, two of Seattle’s most widely consumed journalism sources featured stories of the infamous Red Line. During this same time period, NPR covered the inherently discriminatory practice of redlining more broadly, detailing its racist incarnations in the U.S.’s most densely populated cities. Yet, despite a surge of media coverage, many Seattle residents and folks not well-versed its history remain unfamiliar with the deeply racist practices and policies that left North Seattle neighborhoods majority white and wealthy and those to the south of the Ship Canal generally non-white and hovering at or below the poverty line. Practices legally separating white and non-white residents into distinct neighborhoods first took the form of exclusionary language in deeds and racially restrictive covenants. Language, like that written into early 20th century deeds for properties in Queen Anne, banned non-Aryan residents from occupying land.

“No person or persons of Asiatic, African or Negro blood, lineage, or extraction shall be permitted to occupy a portion of said property.”

“This property shall not be resold, leased, rented, or occupied except to or by persons of the Aryan race.”

 

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This overt, legal segregation fueled discriminatory lending practices in 1936, resulting in the quite literal redlining of the city’s maps, delineating the so-called “hazardous” neighborhoods. Once deemed hazardous, much of Seattle’s Central District and thus most of Seattle’s non-white residents, could not obtain bank loans or fell victim to sky-high interest rates. In 1959, Civil Rights activist launched the Seattle Open Housing Campaign. But it took almost ten years and momentum spurred by the death of Martin Luther King Jr. for City Council to pass an ordinance that forbade this practice and set the foundation for even broader equal housing legislation to come. Nevertheless, redlining continued well into the ‘70s.

Seattle is once again undergoing a massive shift in neighborhood demographics. Once home to 70% of the city’s black population, the Central District has been transformed–”whitewashed”– by gentrification and in the name of progress. Black home and business owners, with deep roots in the community, fight to keep their homes amidst rapidly rising property values and developers’ insatiable appetite to meet the housing demands of more affluent buyers. Consequently, a history, a culture, a community are being erased, displaced and demolished to make way for concrete cubes, apartments, white-owned pot shops, and hipster joints. With them is disappearing the visible reminder of Seattle’s history of legal racial segregation.

This past February Seattle’s Museum of History and Industry offered walkers and cyclists the chance to walk or ride the Red Line. Spearheaded by Seattle resident Merlin Rainwater, the family-friendly walk and ride highlighted “the lingering physical impacts of redlining in our city.” Building on Merlin’s efforts to preserve and make palpable segregated Seattle, I tediously mapped a running version using a high-resolution copy of the 1936 redlining map. Thankfully, many of the streets still exist both in name and location, which aided my quest to map a route nearly identical to the original red line.

Mapping the route–memorializing the Red Line in a way that commands engagement with its racist history–was my impetus for undertaking this project. Breaking the 11-mile route in halves, I set off on foot with two goals: one, test the feasibility of the route, and, two, observe.

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But observe what? I know this city like the back of my hand, so I can visualize the path of the red line without running it. Unable to answer this question, I decided to let the experience define my “data collection.” While running, I found myself drawn to the juxtaposition of original structures and new construction not just architecturally but as symbolic of forced cultural assimilation inherent in “whitewashing.” I took pictures of street signs, commerce, and industry. I traced the layers of Seattle’s history in the stratification of its infrastructure: a base of red brick, a layer of concrete, a top coat of asphalt. The absence of POC-owned business the further south I ran, historic homes slated for demolition, the thick traffic–I’d only ever experienced these hallmarks of “progress” in isolation. Strung together as a series of stops along the red line, though, they weighed on me. How they came to be, their impermanence, the cultural erasure committed through their eradication.

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Between the massive elevation gain and heavy significance of the route, I left my runs of the red line exhausted and sore. Yet, these emotions seemed fitting, for they induced discomfort.

When confronting manifestations of racism and white supremacy, feeling uncomfortable keeps at bay the complacency cultivated by a state of comfort. Running Seattle’s red line hurts; it empties the lungs of oxygen, recruits those sleepy, hill-charging muscles, and negates the commonly held belief that gentrification within the boundaries of the red line honors the pre-existing communities.

This route and the activity of running it are a lasting reminder of Seattle’s racist history, lest it be construed as a purely progressive city. I encourage you to get uncomfortable, and #runtheredline. Use this 11-Mile Red Line Route created with the FASTZach app to explore Seattle’s history.

Sources:

http://kuow.org/post/why-seattle-so-racially-segregated

https://mohai.org/event/segregated-seattle-walk-the-infamous-red-line/

http://depts.washington.edu/civilr/segregated.htm

https://www.seattlepi.com/seattlenews/article/Here-s-how-Seattle-got-so-segregated-10521762.php

https://dsl.richmond.edu/panorama/redlining/#loc=14/47.6201/-122.3194&opacity=0.8&city=seattle-wa

Top Running Routes in Seattle

Words and photos by Seattle runner, Lynn Carlson.

Seattle is known for being an outdoor lover’s mecca and a foodie’s 5-star yelp review waiting to be posted. There are countless routes to run, places to dine, freshly roasted coffee to drink, and breweries to check out. Don’t let the array of choices intimidate you; as luck would have it, Seattle culture encourages these staples to intertwine and coexist together, making it the perfect place for a runcation.

Summer in Seattle is a runner’s dream filled with hours of daylight and possibility. The fall season gently coaxes us into the reality of the long months that will follow. Yes, winter here can be cruel. This is when the city lives up to its well-known stereotype – blankets of rain and grey-on-grey hues that will last throughout the spring.  

Although calloused clouds and abrasive winds try to defend their winter claim into April, you’ll still see an army of runners emerge day after day. This coalition contrasts the monotony of the skies, painting it with their splashes of blue, yellow, and pink windbreakers. Stride by stride they rebel against the forecast; spring training has started…Where are they going?

From the magical old growth forest trails pocketed throughout the city to paved paths showcasing views of the Olympic mountains along the waterfront… Below are popular destinations rain or shine for the weatherproof runner.

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Elliot Bay Trail – up to 8 miles as an out and back

This waterfront trail is located close to unique tourist attractions such as Pike Place Market and the sculpture garden, allowing you to get in your run and explore shortly after. On a clear day, you’ll have views of the Olympic Mountain Range and Mt. Rainer. No matter what the weather is like, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for seals! I just spotted 6 on a recent run.  

Use this 6-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the Elliot Bay Trail.

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Green Lake Loop – 3 miles

This classic & very busy Seattle loop is a staple in the running community. It is the perfect length for a recovery run or multiple loops for a speed workout. If you’re feeling extra competitive, check if a 5K is overlapping with your visit. If so, you will most likely toe the line against a stacked field of Brooks Beasts and Oiselle elites!

Protip: The outer loop, although gravel vs. paved, is much quieter than the inner loop.

Use this 3-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Green Lake.

Processed with VSCO with f2 presetDiscovery Park – 2.8 miles on the Loop Trail or 5ish miles Loop Trail + South Beach

Discovery Park is located in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and includes miles of singletrack techy trails as well as wide and smooth paths, making it the perfect option for trail runners of all abilities. Regardless of running long or short, relatively flat or with plenty of climbing, you will have incredible views of the sound, Cascade Mountains, and the Olympic Mountains when you reach the bluff overlook!

Protip: Check out Seven Hills Running Shop for a vast selection of trail-specific gear!!  

Use this 4.5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Discovery Park.

54cc8188-f29c-44ee-984f-fd2aa2bbe034.jpgLincoln Park – Up to 20 as an out and back

West Seattle is located slightly outside of the downtown area, but don’t let that stop you from getting in an awesome long run! This route boasts of nonstop waterfront views, minimal hills, and multiple water fountains! I recommend parking at Lincoln Park, which will allow you to run up to 20 miles as a straight out and back.  

Protip: Make sure to check out Marination Mai Kai before you leave! Just thinking of their Hawaiian-Korean breakfast burritos, Kimchi fried rice, & local beer has become one of my go-to long run mantras. “Beer and burritos, beer and burritos..” Enjoy!

Use this 18-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Lincoln Park.

Springtime in Portland

Photo credit Bobby Rivera / @mr_bobbyrivera
Photo credit: Bobby Rivera / @mr_bobbyrivera

It’s no coincidence that Oregon is home to some of the grittiest competitors out there, from New York City Marathon winner Shalane Flanagan, to prodigy-turned-pro Jordan Hasay, to 800m standout Kate Grace. While Nike may be one obvious factor linking these athletes, they share something else in common: training year round in Portland.

Running through winter in Rose City often leaves me wondering, “Why in the world do I live here?” The days are dark and gloomy, the rain is never-ending, and my motivation is almost always at a low. The months drag on, and every drenched pair of shoes, battery replaced in my headlamp, and yet another pre-dawn Strava entry are my badges of honor through it all.

Then every March the cherry blossoms begin to bud, marking the beginning of the spring racing season. The popular Shamrock Run is just around the corner, and I think of all the hard work I put in and wonder if my Oregonian competitors were as relentless. It’s evident in the race results year after year – of course, they were! Unlike much of the US, we don’t have to deal with blizzards or below-freezing temps bringing everything to a halt (oh wait, except for that one time). There are no off days unless you say so. You either put in the work or you don’t, and that’s what I love about running in Oregon.

If you happen to visit Portland–and I’d recommend doing so in our finest months of June, July, and August–you absolutely must run to these spots:

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Duniway City Park – Home to my favorite community track in all of Portland, set among lush fir trees and the nearby lilac garden. I’ve run countless workouts here, and don’t be surprised if you bump into local elites and Olympians getting theirs in too. Shameless plug, it will also be home to the inaugural all-comers Rose City Mile on June 30th!

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International Rose Test Garden – Start from downtown Portland and plug this landmark into your FASTZach app. You’ll get in a couple grueling uphill miles but will be rewarded at the top with a garden full of more roses than you’ve ever seen in your life!

Use this 5-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore the International Rose Test Garden.

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Leif Erikson Trail – I like to dub this trail the Long Run Promenade, as it seems most of Portland’s running community makes their pilgrimage to its trailhead on NW Thurman St. every Sunday to log their double-digit miles. It’s easy to see why–it’s a simple out-and-back stretching on for 22 miles with markers every quarter mile. The scenery is absolutely beautiful as you’re surrounded by the trees of Forest Park the entire way. I also can’t help but make a stop at Spielman Bagel on NW Lovejoy on my way home for their Bacon, Jam, & Arugula on Poppyseed.

Use this 10-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Forest Park and Liz’s favorite bagel shop.

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Sauvie Island – A 20-minute drive north of Portland, Sauvie Island is runner/cyclist heaven! It has a flat, paved 12-mile loop on country roads which also serves as Foot Traffic’s annual Flat Marathon and Half. You’ll get treated to sweeping views of farms, marshes, the foothills of Forest Park to the west, and on a clear day, an amazing view of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens to the east.

Use this 12-Mile route created with the FASTZach App to explore Sauvie Island.

 

About the Author:
Liz Anjos is a musician and distance runner from Portland, Oregon. She writes on all things training and racing at Running Liz and is the co-founder of Rose City Track Club.

#RunPhilly with these 3 Routes

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Philadelphia is home to some of the most historic and iconic sights and routes in the country. From the Liberty Bell to City Hall to the famous Museum of Art steps, there are few cities with more places to sightsee and run than in Philadelphia. In fact, the city’s park system is one of the oldest and biggest in the nation. It consists of 63 parks covering 9,200 acres; the primary park, Fairmount Park, spans more than 4,100 acres!

Whether you’re looking for scenic routes along the Schuylkill River or hoping to recreate your own Rocky Balboa moment, FASTZach allows you to explore all 141.7 square miles of the city (and beyond!)

There’s no shortage of great running routes in the City of Brotherly Love. Check out these three fantastic running routes in Philly – taken from our very own, FASTZach app. They’re great for a shakeout, workout, or leisurely sight-seeing adventure. Enjoy!

3 Philadelphia Running Routes by FASTZach

Philadelphia Museum of Art  – 6 miles

(View route and link to app)

Relive the glory of Rocky Balboa with this famous 6-mile route! Run along the Schuylkill River, past the iconic Boathouse Row, and up the famous Philadelphia Musem of Art steps just like Rocky – don’t forget to yell out to Adrian! 

Radnor Trail – 5.7 miles

(View route and link to app)

Radnor Trail is a 2.4-mile trail on the outskirts of Philadelphia located in Wayne, PA. The trail is safe, nicely shaded by trees, and has a gravel side option for extra width. This 5.7-mile route takes runners on a scenic loop to and from the trailhead with the option to add more distance.

Fairmount Park – 10 Miles

(View route and link to app)

Fairmount Park is the largest park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (and the largest landscaped urban park in the world!) The park consists of two sections named East Park and West Park, divided by the Schuylkill River, with the two sections together totaling 2,052 acres! This scenic 10-mile route takes runners along the Schuylkill River and around East Park with plenty of iconic Philadelphia sights along the way.

Remember, there’s always somewhere new to explore – no matter where you’re running! #GETOUTANDROUTE!

Discover Miami with These 3 Running Routes!

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Miami is home to a budding running community filled with great races, beautiful & scenic running routes, fantastic running stores, and more!

Local races such as the Baptist Health Turkey Day Run Miami in Tropical Park and the ALS 5k in Coconut Grove are super fun, and the Miami Marathon and Half Marathon draw crowds from all over the U.S., Latin America, and the world.

The city of Miami was developed after the advent of the automobile, so it is quite large and sprawling. However, its extended coastline, canals, and bridges provide for scenic views no matter which direction you run.

Below, we share a few of our favorite running routes recommended by a Miami local and taken from the FASTZach app!

3 Scenic Miami Running Routes

1. Venetian Causeway – 7.5 miles

(View route and link to app)

This bridge, or rather, series of bridges connecting 6 small residential islands, consists of some of the later miles in the Miami Half Marathon (and some of the middle miles in the Marathon).  Running over the 3-mile causeway offers spectacular views of the Intracoastal Waterway with Miami Beach to the east and mainland Miami to the West.  Depending on the time of day, the bridge also has good views of approaching and departing cruise ships.  Finally, the route begins and ends near fun spots for snacks and brunch – on the Miami Beach side you can get fresh drinks and prepared foods at Fresh Market or Epicure, and run a little further on the Mainland side and you can easily reach trendy breweries (J. Wakefield, Veza Sur, Concrete Beach) and doughnut spots (Salty Donut, Federal Donuts) in Wynwood.

2. Miami Beach Boardwalk – 6 miles

(View route and link to app)

The Boardwalk begins at about 46th Street at Mid-Beach and continues to 23rd Street, at which point it becomes a paved road, for just under 2 miles of soft wooden planks.  However, the major benefits of this route include its shade, the ocean breeze, its proximity to a post-run dip in the Atlantic, and some great people watching with several trendy hotels located nearby. I recommend going early in the morning if possible in order to enjoy the route without too many pedestrians. Continue south on the paved path until 1st street and finish up at Nikki Beach for a cold beverage. Yum!

3. Old Cutler Trail – 5 Miles

(View route and link to app)

Located in Southeast Miami in a residential part of town, this is one of my favorite places for long runs in South Florida (you can easily get 20+ miles running an out-and-back on the trail). The Old Cutler Trail is paved with soft asphalt, but be wary of the roots of the large banyan trees, which provide great shade all year.  South of Southwest 88th Street, the trail follows the Snapper Creek Canal, where you can see lots of swamp wildlife, including turtles, herons, cranes, peacocks and even the occasional alligator.  Take a detour into Matheson Hammock Park for a sweeping view of the ocean and Miami Beach in the distance.  Pinecrest Wayside Market, located at 100th Street, has great strawberry milkshakes, smoothies, and salads for post-run refueling.

Get Out and Route!

Remember, there’s always somewhere new to explore – no matter where you’re running! #GETOUTANDROUTE!

4 Favorite Twin Cities Running Routes

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Minneapolis/St.Paul has been consistently rated one the healthiest and most active places to live in the United States. We know what you’re thinking – isn’t it cold? You betcha! But no amount of cold or snow or ice can keep hardy Minnesotans indoors for long.

One of our very favorite parts about being based in the Twin Cities is the sheer volume of off-road, paved (and often plowed) running and biking trails. This vast network allows runners, bikers, and walkers the ability to travel more than 50 miles without the worry of cars; for runners, especially distance runners, this is a dream come true!

There are dozens of amazing running routes in the land of 10,000 lakes, below are just a few of our favorites. Hope to see you out on the trails soon!

4 Favorite Twin Cities Running Routes

Mississippi River Pkwy/Road Loop – 7 miles

(View route and link to app)


The Mississippi River Pkwy/Road pedestrian and bike paths stretch for miles along either side of the mighty Mississippi and make for an excellent run be it long or short. This route is mostly scenic with views of the river and surrounding neighborhoods and is relatively flat with a couple of hills. Water fountains and bathrooms occasionally line the path, which is perfect for summer runs, but beware in winter! Frigid temperatures force the city to turn off water sources, so be sure to bring your own once October hits.

The Classic Chain of Lakes – 10.5 miles

(View route and link to app)

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The Chain of Lakes is a classic Minneapolis destination for runners and bikers of all kinds. This route provides views of Lake Harriet, Lake Calhoun, and Lake of the Isles along a well-maintained, paved path. Water fountains line the path but don’t rely on them once the weather turns cold. If you visit during the summer months, be sure to stop at Bread and Pickle or The Tin Fish for a post-run treat!

Historic Downtown & Stone Arch Bridge – 5 miles

(View route and link to app)

Experience the Minneapolis days of yore along a beautiful route through historic downtown. You’ll also catch views of sites such as the Mississippi  River, the Hennepin Avenue Bridge (look for the Grain Belt Beer sign!), Nicollet Island, and the Stone Arch Bridge.

Theodore Wirth Park Loop – 10 miles

(View route and link to app)

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Theodore Wirth Park is one of 53 parks and green spaces in the Twin Cities (what can we say? We really love the outdoors!) It covers an impressive 740 acres and has trails extending for 20. This scenic route takes runners through a loop in the park and another loop around nearby Cedar Lake.

Where is Your Favorite Running Route?

There’s always somewhere new to explore – no matter where you’re running! #GETOUTANDROUTE!

Explore Baltimore with FASTZach

At FASTZach, we believe there are places to explore everywhere you go. On a recent trip to Baltimore, Maryland, we were struck by the amazing running community (shout out to Charm City Run, you guys rock!) and even better running routes. As visitors to Maryland, we found so much explore!

Charm City Run
Charm City Run in Baltimore, MD

Whether you’re local to the Baltimore area or not, there’s no shortage of great running routes. Check out these three fantastic Baltimore running routes – taken from our very own, FASTZach app! They’re great for a shakeout, workout, or leisurely sight-seeing adventure. Enjoy!

3 Baltimore Running Routes by FASTZach

1. Patterson Park – 3 miles
(View route and link to app)

This fun, 3-mile loop takes runners through beautiful Patterson Park in Baltimore. It’s also the Patterson Park 5K & Fun Run route on Saturday, December 2nd!

2. Sagamore Pendry Hotel – 4.6 miles
(View route and link to app)

This route loops city streets for 4.5 miles starting and ending at the Sagamore Pendry Hotel – our favorite place to stay in Baltimore! This route runs near the popular Patterson Park.

3. Charm City Run to Fort McHenry – 8 Miles
(View route and link to app)

Need a long run? This 8-mile out and back + loop route starts and ends at Charm City Run and takes runners along the Patapsco River.

Get Out and Route

Remember, there’s always somewhere new to explore – no matter where you’re running! #GETOUTANDROUTE!

Get Out and Route with 3 Monterey Bay Running Routes

On Friday, November 10th 2017, thousands of runners will flock to the West Coast of California for the Monterey Bay Half Marathon & Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5K. Heralded for its beautiful ocean views and world-class field, the Monterey Bay Half Marathon promises to delight and inspire runners from all over with a fantastic course, great race swag, and fun post-race festivities.

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Photo credit: Monterey Bay Half Marathon

Along with the thousands of other Monterey Bay runners, will be running-app creator, Amanda Brooks. Like all nervous, traveling runners, Amanda seeks the best places to stay and eat before her race, as well as local area tips before embarking on a runcation. And like all traveling, racing runners, she constantly seeks out new places to run – it’s with this sentiment that she created her app, FASTZach, a distance-based routing app that will be your guide and companion as you dare to explore a little more!

Runners headed to Monterey Bay on the second weekend of November can learn more about the FASTZach app and meet Amanda by attending the Tech Talk Happy Hour on Friday, November 10th at the Portola Hotel & Spa or catch up for a shakeout run on Saturday, November 11th at Fleet Feet Monterey.

3 Monterey Bay Running Routes by FASTZach

Whether you’re racing in Monterey Bay or not, there’s no shortage of great running routes in the area. Check out these three fantastic Monterey Bay running routes – taken from our very own, FASTZach app! They’re great for a shakeout, workout, or leisurely sight-seeing adventure. Enjoy!

1. Monterey 3-miles – Fleet Feet Monterey
(View route and link to app)

This easy, 3-mile loop takes runners through beautiful downtown Monterey with views of Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. It’s also our shakeout run route at the Monterey Bay Half Marathon on Saturday, November 11th! (link)

2. Portola 5-miles – Ocean View
(View route and link to app)

This beautiful, scenic route traverses ocean views for 5 miles, looping past Cannery Row and Lighthouse Avenue.

3. Portola 9.5 Miles – Beach Trail
(View route and link to app)

For those seeking a longer, oceanfront route, the Portola Beach Trail loops along Ocean View Boulevard for miles before heading back on Lighthouse Avenue. It offers stunning views of the Pacific Grove Marine Gardens (a state marine conservation area) and long run runner highs!

Get Out and Route!

No matter where you’re running the weekend of November 11-12th, be sure to #GETOUTANDROUTE!